With more people working from home, there comes a need for a home office. While you can easily just set up a desk in the corner of your room, having your own home office gives you space away from your life to work and be more productive. But having your own home office comes with a new set of problems. Chiefly, how do you decorate your home office?
You may not realize it, but the way you set up your office can actually help you work more efficiently, help keep you calm and help with problem-solving skills. Here, we'll cover some science-backed ways that your home office decor can help you be more productive, plus many more decor inspiration ideas!
1. Fill Your Space With Plants
If you’ve got a green thumb, this office decor tip might be easier for you than the rest of us. According to the University of Exeter, having an office space with plants makes people happier and more productive. Plants may also help you to improve your concentration. Not a gardener? Try a succulent, they’re easy to care for and still just as green and beautiful.
2. Choose Cool Blue Lighting
There are a variety of shades of light. For example, light from a fire or typical sunset tends to be yellower or warmer moving toward red, while daylight or an overcast winter day will give off light that is more blue and cool. If you want to increase your productivity (and save money on electricity bills) you’ll want to switch your home office lighting scheme from incandescent bulbs to newer model LEDs.
Make sure to either pick color-changing bulbs with multiple settings or those that output light in the 5000 Kelvin to 7,000 K range. They may say daylight or cool blue on the box. They’re scientifically proven to help you be more productive and alert.
3. Choose Rounded Furniture
If you’re feeling “meh” about your office decor and your brain is being less productive, you might want to consider ditching your straight and angular office furniture for something more well-rounded. According to research, curvilinear furniture is linked to increased positive emotions which will help you be more creative and productive.
4. Paint the Walls Blue-Green
In a study by the University of Texas at Austin, researchers found that people performed tasks better and with more accuracy in a room with pale blue-green walls. If you’re looking to enhance your work performance for more accuracy and output, you should definitely consider painting your walls a pale shade of blue-green.
5. Invest in a Smart Speaker
You may be tempted to work in silence just as you did at the office but research suggests that listening to music while working can help you to not only feel happier but will also improve the quality of the work that you complete while listening. We suggest smart speakers (like an Amazon Alexa or Google Nest Mini) because, in addition to being able to pump out music, they can be used as alarms and can help with tasks like changing the color of your lighting.
6. Place A Small Diffuser On A Shelf
Just as color and lighting can boost your productivity, so can scents. With so many beautiful diffusers out there, you can easily improve the aesthetics of your home office while also improving your productivity. Just make sure that you use scents like cinnamon, pine, or citrus. They help boost focus, improve alertness, and lower stress.
7. Pick Ergonomic Chairs
Are you constantly slumped over your desk when in your home office? If you picked any old chair for your home office, it’s time to invest in a more ergonomic office chair. Studies show that participants who used ergonomic chairs (and performed neck exercises) saw less sickness presenteeism and health-related productivity loss among a general population of office workers. So, if you want to boost productivity make sure that you have an ergonomic chair as part of your home office setup.
8. Use a Desk Calendar
Tracking can help you to be more productive. While there are many calendar apps that you can use to track your time, using a paper calendar to physically write down your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks can make you less distracted, less forgetful, and more motivated. Moreover, putting pen to paper has been known to reduce stress. Plus what’s an office without a desk calendar.
9. A Corkboard with Motivational Quotes
Creating a board of motivational quotes and images that inspire you can help boost your productivity. Research suggests that a more spiritual workplace can help to boost productivity, but you don’t have to be spiritual or religious to tap into this productivity hack. The study found that motivational or inspirational quotes worked just as well as spiritual solutions.
10. Placement by a Window or Images of Nature
Just as bringing nature into your home office, helps with productivity, so will images of nature or a window. If your home office doesn’t have a window with a view of nature, you can trick the brain into thinking you’re looking at actual nature with photographs and art pieces that feature natural settings. This can also be a great compromise for those who want to have small plants in their office but lack a green thumb.
11. Himalayan Salt Lamp
In a preliminary study, researchers found that salt lamps had antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. Anxiety has been known to have a negative impact on productivity, so if you find Himalayan Salt Lamps to be an attractive piece of decor for your home office, it can be a boon to your productivity.
12. A Mini Desk Zen Garden
Feeling a little flustered while working in your home office? Try putting yourself into a relaxed and meditative state with a mini desk Zen garden. Zen gardens are little open sandboxes, sometimes with rocks and little plants, that help you destress giving you a second wind.
13. A Bonsai Tree
With so many people enjoying the new Cobra Kai Netflix show, many people are being introduced to the concept of Bonsai trees. Bonsai trees are mini potted trees with the purpose of allowing the grower to learn patience and peace. Bonsai trees are the perfect home office addition to help you find your inner peace.
If you’re concerned that having candles in your home office might be a fire hazard, you can choose battery-operated candles instead of traditional ones. Looking at candles can help you to feel more calm and relaxed while working hard to finish those monthly reports.
15. A Water Feature
A small waterfall or water feature can help you to relax while trying to be more productive. There are many different types of water features you can pick and they do work on the same method as other natural elements in helping you be more productive.
16. A Book Shelf
If you’re the type of person that feels more at ease and calmer when your surroundings are organized, a bookshelf can be a great addition to your home office. Instead of trying to deal with book clutter, you can organize your books and help yourself feel more at peace and ready to work.
17. Comfy Chairs
Do you have to read a lot for work? If reading is part of your workflow, it can be beneficial to create a reading nook with some comfy chairs. Reading in a separate space within your office will allow you to feel more at ease and less stressed.
18. Light-Filtering Window Treatments
Your home office space is not the right area for blackout curtains. If you want to keep a calming atmosphere for your home office space, choose light-filtering window treatments. This can help let in natural light, which will help you feel more productive and will brighten up the room to make things feel more airy and calm.
While placing flowers in your home office will require a regular investment, there are many paper and silk faux-flower treatments available that look just as real as the real thing. Flowers tend to have a calming effect on people and when you have a high-stress job, it can be useful to include as many calming decor items as possible.
20. Amethyst Crystals
Not everyone is sold on the healing power of crystals, and while there’s no scientific proof that amethysts will actually work to help you feel calmer, many people believe they do. If you believe in crystals, it might be a good investment to keep a few around your home office. Bonus, they look great too.
21. Motivational Posters
If you’re looking to inspire yourself to dream big and take on that next big client, you should consider investing in a motivational poster or two. You don’t have to be relegated to cliche motivational posters either, with so many creative artists out there you can find unique motivational art to inspire you that fits your style.
22. Old Comic Book Covers
Superheroes can be inspiring to many people. If you’re one of the many people who find the genius of Tony Stark motivating or you long to be as willful as Spiderman, you can take old comic book covers and frame them as part of your home office decor. Use their stories to motivate you to take on the supervillains: procrastination and tight deadlines.
23. A Standing Desk
If you ever want to be inspired to complete your work faster, try a standing desk. Standing desks are not only healthier for your body but can help you to increase your energy levels. For many, they may be inspired to work faster if only so they can sit down. Try it out and see if it helps with your productivity.
24. A Storage Wall
You can use unique shelving systems to create a wall of storage for your home office. With a place for everything, you may be inspired to put everything in its place. While many people find themselves inspired by clutter, many more are inspired by a clean desk. Either way, having a place for your odds and ends is never a bad thing.
25. A Whiteboard
If you are a creative type, having a whiteboard as part of your home office decor can help you have a place to write your inspired ideas. When a spark flows through your brain, you can quickly jot it down where you can see and work. No more searching for that scrap of paper with your millions dollar idea, only to find it’s lost to the garbage.
26. Whimsical Statement Pieces
No one ever said a home office has to be boring and professional. As long as you aren’t taking clients in your home office, you can easily introduce whimsy into your home office decor. Try getting a unique textile or something you found in a garage sale. It can help you break out of a “meh” feeling during the waning hours of your workday.
27. A Nook For Your Kids to Play In
What’s the point of having a home office, if you have to keep leaving to check on your children. If you have kids and they’re home during the day, one thing you can do to keep yourself productive and inspired is by creating a corner of your office where your kids can do their art. And who knows, sometimes your kids can give you your next best idea.
28. A Colorful Room Divider
Is your home office in another room in your home? If your bedroom, living room, or family room does double duty as a home office, one thing you can do to help yourself feel more inspired is to use a colorful room divider to separate the space. It’ll help you to transition out of work mode with ease.
29. A Second Desk
It might be inspiring to have a second person work with you during the day. Collaboration often leads to some of the best ideas you’ll ever have. Consider including a second desk, especially if you have a partner that also needs a space to work from home.
30. A Scratch Map
A scratch map allows you to scratch off all of the places you’ve been (or places you want to go). Not only do they make great decor items, but it’s inspiring to think of adventures you might have in the future!
31. Pictures of Your Favorite People or Places
Hanging a picture of your favorite people or place, whether it be family or friends, a beach or a snowy mountain, can help inspire you when you’re feeling less than motivated. Remember why you’re working hard—so that you can spend time doing what lights you up when you’re off!
32. Pops of Color
While a pale-blue green is scientifically known to increase productivity. Including some pops of your favorite colors can help you to improve the style of your room. Add an accent wall or some colorful pieces of art to help inspire you. Yellow items might be a good investment as yellow is known to inspire creativity, imagination, and inspiration.
33. A Mid-Century Modern Desk
Mid-century modern style has had a recent resurgence in years past. If you’re looking to improve the style of your home office decor, one investment piece you can make is with your desk.
34. Unique Art
Adding a thought-provoking piece of art to your home office decor can help you to be more inspired and can make your office feel less dreary. You don’t have to be a millionaire to find great art, websites like Redbubble can help you to find unique art pieces by new artists.
35. An Antique Piece
Choosing an antique piece of furniture or small office decor item can help you feel connected to your roots. When choosing to invest money into an antique piece choose something that speaks to you rather than what’s popular, you want something useful that makes you feel creative.
36. An Accent Wall
Creating an accent wall can help you to feel inspired. With so many new and unique wallpapers out there, you can create an accent wall that takes you back to the beaches of Jamaica or to the wonders of outer space. You can also opt for a pop of color which might be easier to change should your tastes change.
37. A Chalkboard
Chalkboards or chalkboard paint can help you change the look of your room in a novel way. This stylish alternative to a placed whiteboard or chalkboard can help you to not only improve your surroundings but can also help you to be more organized and productive.
38. A Bamboo Plant
While we did mention bringing greenery into your home office decor earlier in this article, we didn’t specify any particular plant other than Bonsai trees. If you want minimal and stylish home office decor, opt for a bamboo plant for your home office plant. They can help you be more productive and are great for stylish, minimalist designs.
39. White Furniture
While a pale blue-green will be best for your home office decor to help you become more productive, that color isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. To give your office a stylish and minimalist design aesthetic you should choose white furniture pieces. Be careful if you have young children or pets around, as they can destroy white furniture pretty quickly.
40. A Corner Shelving System
Maximize the space in your home office and keep a minimalist and stylish design with a corner shelving system. Corner shelving systems help you to keep your room clutter-free while making use of all the available space. This home office furniture idea is great for those of you who have to use a space within a space for your home office.
If your home doesn’t have enough space for your home office, and it’s time for an upgrade, you may need to go house hunting! Let the knowledgeable agents at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate HomeCity help you find the perfect spot today.